Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait is a person worth “do kaudi”, two pennies in Hindi, Union Minister Ajay Mishra said at a gathering, NDTV reported on Tuesday. Mishra’s son is in jail in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case in which eight persons had died during a farmers’ protest last year.

The minister made the remarks while addressing a group of supporters in Lakhimpur Kheri. His speech was live streamed by his supporters and has now gone viral on social media.

“I know him [Tikait] very kaudi ka aadmi hai [he is a man worth two pennies]...He fought two elections and lost his deposit,” Mishra said. “If such a person protests, I do not respond.” Mishra also compared his detractors to dogs who chase cars.

His remarks came two days after the Samyukt Kisan Morcha held a protest in Lakhimpur Kheri seeking Mishra’s resignation among other demands. Hundreds of farmers from Punjab took part in the protest.

In his speech, the minister of state for home affairs also thanked his supporters and claimed that they have made him popular.

“The media, the so-called farmers, the non-nationalistic political parties or terrorists sitting in Canada or Pakistan...I would never have imagined you would make me popular with them too,” Mishra said, according to NDTV. “Because of you these people cannot figure out how to defeat me.”

Farmers’ bodies have alleged that on October 3, a vehicle belonging to Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, had run over a group of farmers during a protest in Lakhimpur Kheri district. Eight persons, including four farmers, were killed in violence that erupted during the demonstrations held against the three farm laws that have now been repealed by the Centre.

Ashish Mishra is the prime accused in the case and is currently lodged in a Lakhimpur prison.

Meanwhile, responding to the remarks made by Ajay Mishra, Tikait said on Tuesday that the Union minister is angry since his son is in jail.

“I am a small man, he is a big person...I took 50,000 people to Lakhimpur [Kheri] for a protest and he is angry about it,” Tikait said, according to NDTV. “There is goondaraj [lawlessness] in Lakhimpur Kheri and people fear him. We will run a campaign to free Lakhimpur.”